If you're a tech startup that's just settled a lawsuit involving an ousted co-founder, you'd do well to talk about it when no one's listening. Why not announce when the tech world's attention is completely divided by other goings-on, say during an Apple product announcement?
This is exactly what Snapchat did yesterday.
Snapchat co-founder Reggie Brown claims to have come up with the entire concept of the app’s utility — picture messages that disappear — only to be pushed out and not cut in on the company’s monstrous $10 billion valuation. After a year and a half of legal maneuvers, the lawsuit was finally settled yesterday on the same day that technophiles would be rapt by the highly anticipated iPhone 6 event.
The company’s press release on the matter (issued at 1 p.m. ET, exactly when the Apple event began) acknowledges that Brown did “originally came up with the idea of creating an application for sending disappearing picture messages.”
Snapchat's 24-year-old founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, easily the most public face of the company, said in the release: “We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr. Brown and the Company. We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”
The terms of the settlement are not disclosed, and the company’s opportunistically timed press release on the matter appears below:
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Frank Reginald (“Reggie”) Brown, IV, and Snapchat, Inc., along with its CEO, Evan Spiegel, and CTO, Robert Murphy, announced today that they have settled their dispute over Mr. Brown’s claim of an ownership interest in Snapchat on mutually agreeable terms. The settlement resolves Brown’s suit filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, as well as all other disputes between the parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
Reggie Brown originally came up with the idea of creating an application for sending disappearing picture messages while he was a student at Stanford University. He then collaborated with Spiegel and Murphy on the development of Snapchat during its early and most formative days.
Discussing the settlement, Spiegel said, “We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr. Brown and the Company. We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”